Creative writing teacher Lacy Diamond is concerned about her student, Nicole Kincade, who has a great mind but has not been so good at following through lately on her assignments. In fact, if she doesn't step up on her assignments she may flunk out instead of graduating. So Lucy makes an appointment to speak with Nicole's oldest brother Ryan, now that their parents are gone. But instead of Ryan, Lucy encounters a blast from the past when Jordan shows up in his brother's stead. Growing up with two alcoholic parents, Lucy learned to become invisible to escape being targeted with the ugly remarks they threw at her. She became friends with Jordan during high school when she tutored him, but in the end he betrayed her also. All of this, plus having escaped an abusive marriage has only made Lucy stronger and smarter, but less trusting. She became a teacher to help other students and now Nicole has her worried.
Seeing Lucy again solidifies Jordan's need to right his wrongs. But as he works with Lucy in trying to figure out what is going on in Nicole's life and how to help her, Jordan discovers how much Lucy has changed. Intrigued, he can't get Lucy off his mind and for the first time he is considering marriage. But can he convince Lucy to give him another chance, or will his actions in the past destroy any future they might have together?
An uplifting story, A BETTER MAN, the first book in author Candis Terry's SUNSHINE CREEK VINEYARD series, is a heartwarming, sexy contemporary romance that readers will find hard to put down. Jordan seems to be getting most of his sister's wrath, but then he hasn't really been around since he has been away with the NHL for fifteen years. In fact, I don't believe that Jordan realized how distant he has become from his family until he returned home for his parents' funeral. On top of that, his manager needs him back to help win the championship, but he has promised his family he will be there for them. Jordan's patience and persistence in trying to figure out Nicole's problem and finding ways to help her is heartwarming. Meanwhile, Lucy suffers some trust issues stemming from her past and she can't believe that Jordan could really be interested in her. Watching the relationships between Jordan and his sister, as well as the relationship between him and Lucy, as the issues are addressed and the bonds are strengthened is a real treat. Lucy also plays a role in helping to bring Jordan and Nicole together. The chemistry between Jordan and Lucy is scorching hot and the romance will touch your heart. The secondary characters are a delight and I can't wait to read more about Jordan's siblings.
The Kincade siblings are also faced with other issues while grieving the loss of their parents. The vineyard is not doing so well and someone has been stealing money from the business. So it is up to them to figure out a way to save the family, humor, family dynamics business and to discover the identity of the thief. Besides that, their free spirited aunt also seems to be hiding something. The family bond between the Kincades begin to heal and grow strong as they work together to find a solution to all their problems. If you enjoy contemporary tales loaded with love, passion, heart, humor, family dynamics and small town romance, you do not want to miss A BETTER MAN. A wonderful beginning to a promising new series!